Cambridge Military Library Royal Artillerty Park of Halifax NS and GOC Residence
CAMBRIDGE MILITARY LIBRARY
Mediatype imageCreator email@example.comIdentifier CambridgeMilitaryLibraryOfHalifaxNovaScotiaAddeddate 2012-09-05 23:28:37Publicdate 2012-09-05 23:29:31
1575 QUEEN ST
B3J 2H9 HALIFAX, NS
During the later part of the War of 1812, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke led a military expedition to Maine from Halifax in late August 1814. He captured the coastal area of Maine from the St. Croix River to the Penobscot River, setting up his base in the Port of Castine. The war came to an end with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on 24 December 1814. Sherbrooke had, by that time, taken in 10,000 pounds in custom duties, which he had imposed on all imports and exports through the Port of Castine. These funds became known as the Castine Funds. In October 1815, the British Board of Trade directed that the Castine Funds be devoted to general improvements in Nova Scotia. Sherbrooke left Halifax in 1816, without having touched the Castine Funds, to become Governor General of "Canada" in Quebec City.
The Cambridge Military Library is a distinctive, irregularly shaped two-storey brick building composed of a gable-roofed section with a one-and-a-half storey âLâ-shaped section with a hipped roof and dormers extending eastward. A small gabled sunroom was added to the eastern elevation. The Cambridge Military Library is located at the southernmost point of the grouping of Buildings no. 1, 2, 3, 10-12 and 8 at Royal Artillery Park.
The Cambridge Military Library is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
The Cambridge Military Library is a very good example of the national theme of Imperial defence, specifically the land-based defence of the Halifax harbour and of the Royal Navy Dockyard by the British army, and of the sub-theme of garrison life or the accommodation and social aspect of military life. The library is an early example of what became official British policy for its overseas garrison of providing social, recreational and educational facilities for the troops in active service in an attempt to raise the quality of life.
One of the first buildings at Royal Artillery Park to be built of brick, the Cambridge Military Library is a very good example of the early phase of the period of general modernization and consolidation of the Halifax defence installations. The relocation of the garrison library to this purpose-built building gave the library collection a permanent home and was an indication of the importance of Royal Artillery Park among the various garrison facilities in Halifax.
The library served the larger military community of Halifax and was also used by the wider public community of Halifax as a center of social liaison, and as such, represents a major turning point in garrison life. As British Regiments came and went -they brought - and took - their library with them. There were a lot of books left from British Troops previously stationed in Corfu - leaving what is called the Corfu Collection. The Royal Engineers were also in residence -but took most of their books alas with them.
The Cambridge Military Library is a very good example of a garrison library as a functional building type. A distinctive and irregularly shaped building composed of an assemblage of dissimilar parts;
( a temporary sun room -the White Room - was added during WW2 and was only made permanent in 1980 through the efforts of Gord Jenkins - a civilian who was Bpook Member this period 1980 - who cut corners to have the addition made "permanent" and not wall board. The Colonel who was CO at the time was furious when he saw the bill)
It was also famous for having a permanent military person of Canadian Army posted there his entire career- Mister or Corporal Bill Hunt was "permanent librarian" till he retired. he raised his family up in the upper part of the Library and was never posted !- and now has a room named after him where part of his quarters for family were raised - free accomodation and a large play room he told me downstairs in Librarty as soon as he locked the door!
To quote the official Historic Board wording "the buildingâs unique configuration and massing reflect the functional requirements of the library."
Constructed of high quality materials and craftsmanship, the Cambridge Military Library is also notable for its aesthetically pleasing design and is characterized by a distinctly residential character and scale.
One must remember the building is ugly when seen from Queen Street - because one is looking at the back of the building- in Garrison days the buildings were built facing inwars - towards tne open grassed centre or maidan - much more pleasnt view ! so go to the back of building 0to see front of building!
The Cambridge Military Library strongly reinforces the military character of the campus setting of Royal Artillery Park. An integral component of Royal Artillery Park, the 3/Cambridge Military Library has influenced the scale and type of buildings in the surrounding neighbourhood, which consists primarily of residential and low-rise commercial buildings.
The Officersâ Married Quarters is a visually prominent and well-known local landmark owing to its large scale, formal design features, materials and location as part of Royal Artillery Park, as well as its symbolic value to the community as part of Halifax as a garrison town.
Also included is a small brochure of the General Officer Commanding building built around the same time as Cambridge Military Library and is a few doors down from the Library in RA Park
In 1816 George Ramsay, Earl of Dalhousie, became the new Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia. Dalhousie, with the concurrence of Sherbrooke, used 1,000 pounds of the Castine Fund in 1817 to establish the Officers Garrison Library in Halifax.
The library was set up similar to the Officers Garrison Library in Gibraltar. Half of the books were purchased in England (books of character and value) and half in New York (books of light reading and trifling value). This was the first library established in Halifax.
CAMBRIDGE MILITARY LIBRARY
1575 QUEEN ST
B3J 2H9 HALIFAX, NS
The library was set up first in a private house near Government House, then it was moved to the Administration Building of the Glacis Barracks on Cogswell Street, then in 1886 to the new specific purpose built building at RA Park.
In 1818, Dalhousie used the remaining 9,000 pounds of the Castine Fund to establish "Dalhousie College", which later became known as Dalhousie University. It was located at the site of the present City Hall at the Grand Parade.
FHBRO HERITAGE CHARACTER STATEMENT
3/CAMBRIDGE MILITARY LIBRARY, ROYAL ARTILLERY PARK,
FEDERAL HERITAGE BUILDINGS REVIEW OFFICE
National Historic Sites Directorate, Parks Canada
25 Eddy Street, 5th floor, Gatineau, QC K1A 0M5
Telephone: 819-997-6740 / Fax: 819-953-6146 / Website:www.parkscanada.gc.ca/federalhb
FHBRO number: 90-005
DFRP number: 02916
Resource name: Cambridge Military Library (Building 3)
Address: Royal Artillery Park, Halifax, NS
FHBRO status: “Recognized” Federal Heritage Building
Designer: Royal Engineers
Original function: Garrison library
Current function: Library and meeting hall
Modifications: Small rear (east) addition (sunroom) - 1940s
Custodian: Department of National Defence
Description of Historic Place
The Cambridge Military Library is a distinctive, irregularly shaped two-storey brick building composed of a gable-roofed section with a one-and-a-half storey “L”-shaped section with a hipped roof and dormers extending eastward. A small gabled sunroom was added to the eastern elevation. The Cambridge Military Library is located at the southernmost point of the “V”-shaped
grouping of Buildings no. 1, 2, 3, 10-12 and 8 at Royal Artillery Park. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
On a personal note
I was the Military Library member for Cambridge Military Library in the 1970s and can tell you many a story of the Library-
for example Cpl Bill Hunt -a Canadian Army soldier raised his family in the Library in an upstairs apartment- he would tell me after closing -his children would have the whole downstairs to play in.
The Corfu Collection - had been stored in a military warehouse in the 1970s because of space by Col Hofflin R22R but as the books were stored were in an unheated area of warehouse this valuable collection would have quickly deteriorated.
So after some local Halifax historians were recruited on a Committee the collection was brought back and installed upstairs on second floor. The Corfu collection is mostly composed of books that were once with the Royal Artillery when the Artillery unit was in Corfu- when they came /were posted to Canada they brought the books with them- and left them in the Library. The books are not all "pure" Corfu - as many have disappeared -but on the other hand were augmented by other British Regiments during their posting to Halifax. The back of the books have numerous Regiments and Units marked in them - all British. Interestingly enough most of the books are travelogues.
If you want a picture of the FRONT of Cambridge Library
you have to walk around to the back!!
In British cantonment building days ,buildings were built in India ,Canada and rest of Empire -facing in to a green space- called a "maidan" ( an Urdu word meaning green space) AND not facing out to a rather --in most cases - noisy and shabby - " native quarter"
The Maidan was in the centre of cantonment -nice and green - good place to play polo - who would want their houses facing out onto local native housing - really old boy - better inward onto a park or Maidan where you can see greenery and may be a cricket game or better a polo match? Also used as a parade square